From the Ed­i­tor

Field and Game - - FROM THE EDITOR -

Spend time in the bush and you un­der­stand that it is in a con­stant state of flux. Sea­sons ebb and flow, na­tive grasses green and bloom then turn brown and dry to feed fires that again start the cir­cle of life. Wa­ter is pre­cious and at times scarce, or too abun­dant.

This con­stant change re­quires us to adapt to the cir­cum­stances; we can never as­sume things will be as they were the last time we went bush. The flora and fauna we en­joy has be­come adept at adap­ta­tion; it is the only way to sur­vive.

A sim­i­lar state of flux ex­ists in pol­i­tics and bu­reau­cracy.

The land­scape is al­ways chang­ing as the power shifts, dif­fer­ent per­son­al­ity types are elected and dif­fer­ing views or new ideas take root.

As a co­hort, hunters have a wealth of prac­ti­cal, on-the-ground ex­pe­ri­ence and a solid view of their rights and the place of hunt­ing in the tra­di­tional land­scape. How­ever, the sands con­stantly shift around that rock-solid pil­lar of be­lief.

We may not like change, or agree with it, but change will al­ways be a con­stant and we must either win the ar­gu­ment or adapt to the new re­al­ity.

Cop­ing with the change cul­ture re­quires enor­mous ef­fort and re­sources and at times, it can be over­whelm­ing.

For Field & Game Aus­tralia, the is­sues are not just about sea­son set­ting but equally com­plex is­sues in­clud­ing wa­ter, habi­tat man­age­ment, land ac­cess, bio­di­ver­sity, pest an­i­mals, firearm reg­u­la­tion and en­force­ment.

At the same time, we have to meet the chal­lenge of pro­mot­ing sci­en­tific re­search to gen­er­ate the facts and data cru­cial to de­ci­sion mak­ing, main­tain­ing a strong hunt­ing cul­ture, and re­cruit­ing new en­trants to shot­gun­ning, whether it is clay tar­get, hunt­ing or pest con­trol.

Healthy num­bers and a strong cul­ture are im­por­tant.

We will al­ways have to defend our­selves against the mi­nor­ity of an­i­mal rights ac­tivists and you only have to look at re­cent me­dia cov­er­age of log­i­cal and hu­mane kan­ga­roo culls close to Mel­bourne to un­der­stand how il­log­i­cal those bat­tles can be.

Pro­test­ers in­vaded and stopped a prop­erly re­searched and ap­proved cull of kan­ga­roos trapped within the bound­ary fence of the Ep­ping Whole­sale Fruit & Veg­etable mar­ket.

This mi­nor­ity wanted to save them by translo­ca­tion, a method that sci­ence shows usu­ally leads to death any­way.

Happy to ig­nore sci­ence and logic, the pro­test­ers have trot­ted off to the Supreme Court to waste time and money while the kan­ga­roos con­tinue to suf­fer in their con­fine­ment.

Their ar­gu­ment is built on emo­tion and “slaugh­ter” is the emo­tive term used rather than “culling” and it is con­cern­ing that in some me­dia cov­er­age the lan­guage adopted by the jour­nal­ist has been just as bi­ased.

The les­son is that while sci­ence is a solid foun­da­tion for pub­lic pol­icy, the ac­tivists will hap­pily ig­nore it or try to de­bunk sci­ence to reach their philo­soph­i­cal aim.

We have to per­sist with sci­ence and con­tinue to pro­mote rea­soned and ra­tio­nal de­ci­sion-mak­ing through this mag­a­zine and other FGA pub­li­ca­tions.

En­joy the Novem­ber edi­tion, again fashionably and de­lib­er­ately de­layed to give the 2017 Na­tional Car­ni­val and FGA’S clay tar­get cham­pi­ons the ku­dos they de­serve.

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